Monthly Archives: July 2003

Access is the key to trade reform

The spin doctors on all sides are “trying to hint(Reuters report via Yahoo News)”: at some convergence on the issue of agricultural trade reform at the Montreal meeting of WTO trade ministers. But the ‘hint’ of flexibility in the EU position is all about partial cuts in subsidies for exports and domestic producers, not about […]

Stealing common words

The European Commission is preparing a list of 35 common food names such as “parmesan” and “feta” whose use it wants banned throughout the world except when applied to European products. It’s an attempt to further protect its agricultural industries—at the expense of developing countries. The “Financial Times(link to the FT story)”: reports that the […]

Confusing Product with Process

“Jacqueline Peel(link to Social Science Research Network)”: from the “Faculty of Law(link to Law School at Melbourne)”: at Mebourne University has published an excellent analysis ofthe difficulties still to be resolved by WTO members in managing conflicts between * the wish of each Member to safeguard its own and the global environment including by the […]

The obscenity of agricultural subsidies

Martin Wolff of the Financial Times (via “Lance Knobel(link to”: ) bq. “The OECD countries—essentially the world’s 30 richest nations—spent $311 billion on domestic agricultural subsidies in 2001. They spent $52 billion on aid to all countries. The 2001 GDP of sub-Saharan Africa was $301 billion. bq. Worse, the annual dairy subsidy in the […]

Comparative advantage

“Arnold Kling(link to EconLog)”: asks how to explain comparative advantage so that a journalist understands it. Well, its perfectly possible. After all, the idea was put into circulation by a “stockbroker”: so it should be possible to explain it to any practical person. Of course, that may exclude many academic economists… I’ve long believed that […]

NY Times keeps the pressure up

The Times is continuing to hammer the need for reform of world agriculture markets. From Sunday’s editorial ” By rigging the global trade game against farmers in developing nations, Europe, the United States and Japan are essentially kicking aside the development ladder for some of the world’s most desperate people. This is morally depraved.  By […]

Long road to an FTA

I’m quoted in Sunday’s “Age(link to The Age Newspaper)”: on the negotiations that resume this week on the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement. Some of the arguments you’ve seen elswhere on this site.